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2nd arrest made in NJ mass shooting, woman injured in gunfire declared clinically dead

FAIRFIELD TWP., New Jersey — New Jersey State Police announced on Tuesday that a woman who was being hospitalized for injuries sustained in a mass shooting over the weekend has been declared clinically dead.Braylin Holmes, 19, of Millville, was one of the 14 people shot on Sunday at a house party on Commerce Street in Fairfield Township Sunday night.

Holmes had just returned home for the summer from college in Virginia. She was studying to be a social worker.

Authorities say Holmes was declared clinically deceased on Monday night, but she’s being kept on life support for organ donation purposes. Holmes is the third victim to die in the shooting.

Also on Tuesday, state police announced a second arrest in this case. Darrell Dawkins, 30, of Bridgeton was charged with numerous weapons offenses. Police say it does not appear he was the gunman.

On Monday, Kevin Dawkins, 36, was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in connection with the shooting.

Investigators have also not revealed whether the men were related.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Bridgeton police officers found Dawkins armed with a handgun near the Maplewood Garden Apartments on Sunday morning. Dawkins was allegedly found lying down beside a tree with the handgun clutched in his right hand. He was arrested without incident.

Authorities say Dawkins was in possession of the same handgun while at the party, and that witnesses identified him as holding and discharging the weapon at the property, the document says.

However, it’s unclear if bullets from Dawkin’s weapon struck anyone at the party.

The two other victims killed in the shooting have been identified as Kevin Elliott, 30, and Asia Hester, 25.

Investigators say someone emerged from the woods and started firing. Neighbors said they heard popping noises that sounded like fireworks.

“We started seeing cops flying down the road, state troopers coming down this way, helicopters in the air and I’m like, ‘This is nuts, man,'” recalled Joeron Pierce, who lives nearby.

Chopper video showed the aftermath on Sunday morning. A tent that appeared to have been knocked over was on the ground. Debris was scattered around the yard.On Monday, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal called the shooting a targeted attack. The motive for the shooting is still being investigated.
Multiple firearms and shell casings were recovered from the scene, Grewal said. He added that the state will be working with federal partners to determine where the guns originated from and whether they can be linked to other recent acts of violence in the area.

“This was a birthday party. A birthday party is supposed to be a joyous event, not a target for those hellbent on inflicting harm on a community,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.

Tiffany Kowalchick worked with Hester at the Jefferson Health in Washington Township.

“She would selflessly travel all the way from Bridgeton to Washington Township to work with the sick and elderly… She would clean and bath them as if they were her own family. Asia truly had a heart of gold,” said Kowalchick in a statement to Action News.

Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said it is estimated that several hundred people were at the party.

Webb-McRae said the wounded victims ranged in age from 19 to 35, included both men and women, and all were Cumberland County residents.

John Fuqua, of the Life Worth Living organization, said his nephew’s friend was among those who were shot.

“He was running for his life. He got on the ground, he had to crawl,” Fuqua said. “It wasn’t a shooting gallery, it wasn’t a hunting expedition, it was a party and a few bad apples chose to turn it into something else.”

Rev. Michael Keene of the Trinity AME Church heard the gunfire. The church that sits right across the street from the shooting scene.
“I just started hearing at first what I thought was fireworks, it was really gunshots, and I heard nine in rapid succession,” said Rev. Keene.Community leaders said the gathering was a 90s-themed birthday party and was attended mostly by young people.

“We have a lot of challenges in this community and we’ve had a lot of tragedies,” said Melissa Helmbrecht of the HopeLoft Community Center.

Helmbrecht said the partygoers were excited about the warm weather and opportunity to get together.

“I’m just worried for our friends, our family, our employees. Over the coming days we’re going to have a lot of pieces to put back together,” she said.

“If you’re going to a party, why do you need to take a gun?” asked Keene. “If you’re there to have a good time, why do you need a gun with you? That means you’re expecting trouble to me.”

Fuqua said it will take the efforts of the entire community to help.

“This ain’t a sit back on the sideline and watch activity, this is about boots on the ground. You’ve got to get on the floor, you’ve got to get your knees a little bit dirty if we want to clean up our community,” Fuqua said.

Any attendees with information are asked to contact New Jersey State Police at 856-451-0101 or submit a tip to the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Ofice at njccpo.org/tips

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: KTRK

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Billy Connolly sniped Scottish nationalists as he declared: ‘I hate all tartan b******s’

Billy Connolly discusses Parkinson’s and cancer diagnoses

The beloved comedian, known as ‘The Big Yin’, shocked fans when he announced his retirement from stand-up performances two months ago. Sir Billy, 78, was known for his comedic observations on stage and frequent use of swear words. And the TV star, who was born in Glasgow, weighed in on the Scottish independence debate and admitted he “hated” nationalists.

Prior to the referendum seven years ago, Sir Billy vowed that he would not vote because he feared influencing the public due to his celebrity status.

He also refused to participate in debates about Scottish independence and admitted in general, he “tried to keep away from it all”.

Sir Billy justified his abstinence by stating “a lot of people take your world like it’s spun gold” and don’t care whether there’s “some sense to it” or not.

He told the BBC: “I don’t want to influence anybody so I shut up.

Billy Connolly took a swipe at Scottish nationalists during Scottish independence debate (Image: GETTY)

Billy Connolly was known as ‘The Big Yin’, meaning ‘the big one’, during his comedy career (Image: GETTY)

“I think the Scots will come to a good conclusion in the referendum, they will get what they deserve.”

More than two million people, around 55 percent of the nation, voted to remain as part of the UK, in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum

Around 44 percent, approximately 1.6 million, voted for the nation to become an independent country.

However, Sir Billy appeared to have changed his mind after the 2016 EU referendum, which saw 52 percent of the public vote Leave.

He blasted Brexit as a “disaster” and mourned “the breaking up of the togetherness of Europe”.

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The financial impact of Scottish independence (Image: EXPRESS)

In 2018, Sir Billy told the Daily Record that Brexit was “a crime bordering on a sin”.

He hoped Scotland would “keep our contact with Europe” and warned that departing from the bloc could encourage a second Scottish referendum.

Sir Billy said: “Scots voted to stay in Europe, and if the only way for us to do that is to become independent from England [then] that may just be the way to go.”

The star, who is a self-professed Anglophile, admitted: “I never thought I would say that.”

Sir Billy revealed that he “never had any interest in hating England and the English”, which influenced his opposition to Scottish independence.

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Billy Connolly announced his retirement from stand-up comedy last year due to Parkinson’s disease (Image: ITV)

He said: “As an Anglophile, I have never shouted for Scottish independence, but I might be changing my mind now.”

Last year, Sir Billy seemed more certain that breaking away from the UK to become a separate country was a good idea.

He told the Daily Record: “I think a Scottish republic is as good an idea as I’ve ever heard.

“But I don’t represent anybody or anything and I don’t think it is wise to.”

Scottish independence referendum found 55 percent of the nation against breaking away from the UK (Image: GETTY)

While Sir Billy seemed supportive of Scottish independence, he took a firm stance against Scottish nationalism.

He said he “never liked nationalism in any of its guises” and stated: “I don’t like Scottish nationalism very much.”

Sir Billy claimed it was “based on a loose idea about politics” and that he considered himself a “utopian socialist”.

He said: “I am Scottish but that’s not all I am and I hate all that tartan b******s.”

Billy Connolly jokes about Parkinson’s during drug discussion

Sir Billy, who has been pictured wearing tartan on multiple occasions, distanced himself from nationalism further.

He claimed he would “never let” himself be “put into a box marked ‘working class’ or ‘Scottish’ or anything else”.

Sir Billy believed those titles could “limit who you are or what you can say”.

He explained that it was “the easiest trap in the world” to become “a professional Scot” and he preferred not to be listed as Scottish.

Billy Connolly was a close friend of Robin Williams, who took his own life in 2014 (Image: GETTY)

Sir Billy said: “It can happen not only to comedians and singers but to writers and artists.

“You become a Scottish artist as opposed to an artist, I suppose it is the same when you are Welsh or Irish.”

He claimed that “doesn’t seem to happen” to people from England.

Sir Billy said: “No one ever says ‘that English artist’ or ‘that English comedian’ – the accent gives you this incredibly strong identity.”

Sir Billy Connolly: Made In Scotland airs at 9pm tonight on BBC Two.

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